Cody Unser , 2016
Disability Awareness Advocate, Adaptive Scuba Medical Crusader, Peer Mentor -- Cody Unser, a scion of Indy 500 racing greats, founded the Cody Unser First Step Foundation at age 13 to raise awareness, foster medical collaboration, and develop quality-of-life programs for those with transverse myelitis, the autoimmune condition that left her paralyzed. Her foundation’s focus on mainstreaming adaptive scuba for over a decade and its potential as a therapeutic tool in exercise science is creating a buzz in the medical and dive industries. Through her foundation, Cody’s Great SCUBA Adventures and Operation Deep Down, Cody pioneered the way to the first conventional SCUBA-Medical study with her doctors from Johns Hopkins on the Neurological and Psychological effects of SCUBA on paralysis, gaining the notoriety and attention needed for future studies. Cody (a PADI advanced OWD ), Albuquerque, NM native, currently lives in Washington, DC to pursue her Master’s in Public Health at George Washington University.